Reflections for Advent, No. 14
Image above: Lucy Adlington, Realm 2015
A sacred place, a place of generosity, a place to communicate, share and illuminate. I was given the keys to a church the beginning of Spring 2015 as a place to practice music. A time that was both personally overwhelming and consuming, this space contained within it a realm. A place I was able to explore musically, emotionally and through this building, renewal. It became a door I would push myself through week after week as nothing less than a means to pull myself out of those unclear moments and into the unknown. A lonely one, but one in whose privacy I was able to experiment with both voice and sound, to be able to finally hear myself after years in dingy practice spaces was both a jarring and educational experience.
The time of advent used as a reflection can see doors as symbolic, literal or as flimsy neon barriers to house chocolate treats behind. I had no reason to push myself through these doors other than as a means to do strive outside of myself; as in my mind there was no longer a beginning, middle or end. When you suffer a great loss, illusion can break wide open and within it a great hole can appear that leave fragments of yourself waiting to be picked up and polished. To be put back together like the jewelled pieces of glass that made up the stained windows: your will becomes the lead to with which to transform and re-structure. And a structure suddenly becomes an incubator.
Paul & Janice Spence bought The Old Church in County Durham in 2011 and although no longer used for religious services, they lovingly created a place for both the community and individuals to share their projects or group activities. To come together for dance they create a world that welcomes the wild into it without reason or judgement. I have met so many wonderful and interesting characters within this building and through this generous couple, who’s arms are as open as the doors that helped me put me back together. If a building is built for purpose, then this building has held onto those values with ever so subtle roots.
Lucy Adlington is a designer, photographer and musician based in County Durham